PKR touts inclusivity with slew of new party members, but is this a cosmetic exercise?

PKR touts inclusivity with slew of new party members but

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has launched a slew of new party members, together with spiritual students and celebrities, as preparations for elections kick into gear.

While party leaders are heralding the transfer as half of PKR’s inclusivity narrative, consultants interviewed by CNA mentioned that this group might want to pull their weight and communicate for the party to ensure that the try to repay.

Earlier this month, 15 Islamic leaders together with students and a Syariah court docket chief decide joined the party’s Negeri Sembilan chapter. Among them was a state assemblyman who was with Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).

Speaking at a press convention on Apr 11 to introduce the new members, party chief Anwar Ibrahim mentioned he has confronted questions relating to the sudden surge of Islamic leaders becoming a member of the party.

“We are not a regular political party. This is a movement to bring good. It is not to sharpen the enmity between parties or between religions and races. It is just about claiming justice for everybody equally,” he mentioned.

READ: Pakatan Harapan names Anwar as prime minister candidate, says open to working with other parties

In a Facebook submit on Apr 12, Mr Anwar added: “(They) have the experience and the ability in a variety of disciplines and fields which they have mastered. I believe their participation will inject a new spirit for Keadilan.”

“I am optimistic and I believe that it would fill and improve the spirit of enabling reform and proving Keadilan as the platform for all, including professionals, artists, religious scholars and others,” the Port Dickson Member of Parliament (MP) mentioned.

(kd) Anwar Ibrahim with Islamic leaders

A complete of 15 Islamic students and leaders joined PKR on Apr 11, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)

PKR central management council member Amidi Abdul Manan, who spoke on behalf of the Islamic leaders who not too long ago joined the party, advised CNA that PKR appealed to the group as a result of it was extra inclusive than the opposite events preaching Islam.

“Keadilan is a party that is multiracial … that itself shows their inclusiveness and that is what has caused these leaders to be attracted to the party,” mentioned Mr Amidi who has been a member of PKR for over 20 years.

He added that regardless of being a multiracial party, the truth that the PKR has adhered to its unique aspirations akin to conserving the Malay language because the federal language, working in direction of eradicating poverty and reforming the neighborhood even after 20 years, made the party ultimate for Islamic leaders.

“(PKR is) more inclusive than PAS and UMNO (United Malays National Organisation and they are a party based on idealism. They care for the need of all quarters,” Mr Amidi added.

Before the spiritual students had been launched, actor and comic Afdlin Shauki in addition to rapper Syed Ahmad Syed Abdul Rahman Alhadad, who is higher often known as Altimet, each joined the party.

“If you throw a big enough fishing net, you catch what you need,” Subang MP Wong Chen advised CNA.

He famous that the party now has a membership of round 1.1 million individuals and it is common for celebrities to affix PKR.

“When a celebrity joins our party, they get highlighted but it is nothing unusual for the party itself because the number of people joining the party has increased by many folds, especially after the 2018 General Election,” he claimed.

READ: PKR explores ‘healthier’ political funding system as it launches e-commerce store for party merchandise

When requested if such celebrities would draw younger voters from rural constituencies, PKR’s communication director Fahmi Fadzil famous that many citizens are social media savvy, regardless of whether or not they’re from rural or city areas.

“While having a celebrity on board is a win for the party. it will not win the election per se. It may draw attention but the ground work still has to happen,” he said.

Mr Afdlin and Mr Syed Ahmad declined to comment when approached by CNA.

(kd)Afdlin and Altimet join PKR

Actor and comic Afdlin Shauki (second from proper) in addition to rapper Altimet (first from proper) joined PKR on Apr 2, 2021. (File picture: Bernama)


Will these eye-catching party recruits give a actual enhance to PKR’s campaigning efforts?

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s senior fellow Jeniri Amir mentioned the influence of the new members wouldn’t be far-reaching.

“To me, it is not going to have any impact. It is more of a cosmetic approach. This has been done in Indonesia and it is very common to drop in artists and popular people like celebrities and preachers. I think PKR has taken a lead from there.

“All this will not undo the damage the Sheraton Move has done. You need to do well on the ground. It is more about PKR being seen as a credible party that sticks to its reform agenda,” he mentioned, referring to the political maneuvering that led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan governent.

He added: “What is needed is for PKR to be seen or perceived to be committed is to have credible leaders and not party hoppers … It is difficult to convince people that they are credible. They have no choice but to focus on their reform agenda, because in the 15th General Election, even a small party will play a big role, no one party is going to be dominant.”

READ: UMNO will not work with Anwar, DAP or Bersatu in the next general election, says Ahmad Zahid

In order for the transfer to repay, the artistes and non secular leaders have to be prepared to drag their weight and communicate for the party, mentioned Professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, a scholar-in-residence on the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

“The vital point that needs to be communicated to the Malays is that PKR-led government will not disadvantage the Malays, irrespective of whether the Democratic Action Party (DAP) is in the government or not.

“The religious leaders will be more impactful on the ordinary Malays in generating a snowballing effect in terms of popular support,” he mentioned.

The political scientist added that PKR has been Malaysia’s most inclusive Malay-led party for near 20 years, interesting to a cross-section of the more and more city inhabitants whereas having the ability to garner a vital non-Malay following.

“It is not that PKR never had rapport with the Islamic community, but its inclusive socio-political approach was slow to take hold among the conservative Malays, who are still the majority in the largely rural or semi-urban Malay belt areas. 

“That more religious personalities are gravitating towards PKR, rather than being an unconditional endorsement of Mr Anwar, reflects a disappointment with the performance of the present Perikatan Nasional government, notwithstanding its claims of representing primarily Malay-Muslim interests,” mentioned Prof Ahmad Fauzi.


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